Ultrasound-Guided Fenestration of the Carpal Ligament Using a Double-Needle Approach

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Abstract

Injection techniques for carpal tunnel syndrome have evolved from landmark palpation injection techniques to more accurate ultrasound-guided approaches. Presented is a case report describing a technique serendipitously discovered during a carpal ligament fenestration. The case involved a 66-year-old man with a diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome. After a failed attempt at treatment using a wrist splint and activity modification, he was treated by median nerve hydrodissection with 100% temporary pain relief. When his symptoms recurred, a carpal tunnel combined hydrodissection/fenestration technique was performed. Because of difficulty extricating the carpal ligament from the median nerve with the first needle, which was placed longitudinal to the median nerve, a second needle was placed transverse to the median nerve to aid in hydrodissection. The second needle was left in because it was found to be helpful in maintaining a safe distance between the median nerve and the carpal ligament by intermittent injection through the second needle. The patient reported 70% relief of his symptoms at 2-week follow-up and 50% sustained relief at 3 months. A 2-needle technique is feasible and can be helpful during median nerve hydrodissection/carpal ligament fenestration when technical or anatomical issues arise preventing treatment using the traditional single needle approach. This double needle approach allows for use of injectate to maintain separation between the median nerve and the ligament during the fenestration.

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